WWE News

Kevin Owens Blames ‘Paid Off’ Referee For Royal Rumble Handcuff Botch

Kevin Owens Thumb

Former WWE Universal Champion, Kevin Owens, has spoken about the handcuff botch which occurred during his championship match at the 2021 Royal Rumble.

At the culmination of a WWE Universal Championship Last Man Standing Match between Kevin Owens and ‘The Tribal Chief’ Roman Reigns, the challenger handcuffed his rival to the lighting rig low enough that he would not be able to stand and meet the referee’s count of ten.

What followed was a visible mishap when Paul Heyman was unable to free his client with the key in a swift manner thanks to the cuffs being back-to-front, making it impossible to insert the key without a tussle. Improvising, Reigns pulled the official into the lighting deck to stop the count while Heyman spent a good portion of the closing minutes trying to release ‘The Head of the Table.’

Now, an in-character Kevin Owens has joined the cast of The Jake Asman Show to address the mistake, blaming the referee for his loss who he stated had been paid-off:

“I’ve never been cheated by a referee that way before. He [Reigns] brought handcuffs, I handcuffed him to something and I thought I had him, I really did have him. Some screw-ups from the referees and here I am, sitting in my car without the Universal Championship.

I’m still in recovery from the Royal Rumble. It was a pretty rough night. I was thrown off a 12-foot platform onto a bunch of tables, I got hit by a golf cart, I jumped off a forklift that was about 10 feet in the air, I burned my arm on a light that was part of our setup, and to top it all, I didn’t win because a referee got paid off or something.”

Following escaping the handcuffs, Reigns was forced to go straight into the closing sequence of the bout where he locked in the Guillotine Choke for the victory.

However, that wasn’t the end of the epic rivalry which has occupied the champion’s time since December. On the February 5 edition of Friday Night SmackDown, Owens attacked Roman with a Stunner during a face-to-face with ‘The Rated-R Superstar’ Edge.

Credit for the interview: The Jake Asman Show

h/t for the transcription: Fightful